Those who practice martial arts understand that their training is much more than the technique behind a kick or a punch. Martial arts is not so dissimilar from other sports in that it requires dedication, discipline, hard work, and integrity to succeed. In addition to these virtues, training in martial arts also helps build a foundation for a healthy and active lifestyle.
One of the most valuable things that can come out of one’s training is character development. Patience, humility, persistence, respect, confidence, and self-discipline are frequently revisited in martial arts. Through training, students can build commendable character. With our mat chats during every class, American Family Martial Arts explores and reinforces these concepts.
Technique is important to every style of martial arts and repetition is key to mastering technique. Many martial arts schools require students to practice and perfect certain techniques before advancing to the next level of training. Our striping and belt ranking system at American Family Martial Arts, reinforces patience. Students get the small obtainable goal of performing and mastering a technique with the stripe as a reward. This builds up to taking their rank testing every 10 weeks with a new belt. It may take some students longer than others to get there, and it is vital for both instructors and students to realize this.
Practicing martial arts can teach students how to be more patient not only with learning and mastering forms and techniques, but also with themselves and other parts of their lives outside of the dojo. American Family Martial Arts students (ages 3-14) aren’t just given a stripe. They work on drills and information during classes and at the end of class show whether or not they have mastered that particular skill. Sometimes students are sent home with instructions on how to practice so they can earn that stripe next time.
From sparring in class to competing in tournaments, students of American Family Martial Arts learn quickly that there are many better, more seasoned martial artists out there. These can be great learning opportunities, acting as humbling reminders for students that there is always room for improvement. An unexpected loss in a tournament can also help students realize their weak points, allowing them to improve their own training.
It is only through persistence that a martial arts student can truly succeed in his or her practice. Training is a life-long endeavor and some form of failure is inevitable. This is where persistence is crucial; when a student persists, only then can he or she succeed in learning and performing techniques. No martial artist begins with perfect forms and flawless technique; it is the persistence of spirit and determination to push forward that makes a martial artist great.
Respect is one of the main tenets of martial arts. Each martial art emphasizes the importance of respect in all aspects of training: towards the traditions of martial arts and for one another. As students must co-operate with authority figures throughout their training, they must practice respect during every class and are encouraged to apply this outside of their training as well.
Self-discipline is another important principle in the world of martial arts. When students must train and master a specific technique, he or she must have a strong work ethic to succeed. A lack of self-discipline can manifest in missed classes and misbehavior, both of which can be detrimental to a martial arts student’s practice. By requiring students to commit to regimented self-discipline, martial arts help set up children and young adults for success.
By demonstrating patience, humility, persistence, and self-discipline, martial arts students learn to master techniques as taught by their instructors. These are accomplishments achieved through hard work and dedication, which increase students’ confidence as a result. Beyond a sense of accomplishment, students also learn to defend themselves and can feel more capable if they are confronted with a threatening situation. Whether it’s in the classroom or the boardroom, confidence helps young adults positively impact those around them with greater autonomy and will.
These qualities, which are necessary for success in any martial art, can help a student build strong character. The benefits of martial arts training evidently reach far beyond self-defense and physical fitness. For more on the benefits of martial arts and how it can benefit children, subscribe to our emails!